A new report from app store analytics firm App Annie has crowned the top iOS apps of all time. More than anything else, the rankings reveal that even as iPhones change and operating systems evolve, our habits when it comes to our favorite apps haven’t changed much over the past few years. In fact, if you were to try to guess the most popular iOS apps just by looking at your own phone, you might not be too far off.
As Sarah Perez reports for TechCrunch, Google, Apple, and Facebook dominate the list of the top 10 most-downloaded apps. Facebook’s main app comes in first, and the company makes other appearances on the list with Facebook Messenger in second place, Instagram in fourth, and WhatsApp in sixth. Google’s YouTube claims third place, and Google Maps ranks eighth. Apple’s Find My iPhone comes in at seventh place, while iTunes U ranks tenth. Rounding out the top 10 is Microsoft’s Skype at fifth place, and Twitter at ninth.
For all 10 apps, users in the United States lead in downloads. These apps have shown remarkable staying power, and Perez reports that though most of the apps are more than four years old, all of them continue to have millions of downloads per month. That means that these are the apps that a majority of users install when they get their first iPhone or iPad, and are the ones that they install when they upgrade to a new device from an older model. Chances are pretty good that you have one or more of these apps installed on your iPhone or iPad.
The list of the top 10 most profitable apps looks pretty different from the list of the most popular apps, but the winners on that list are also a pretty logical bunch, even if they might not be as easy to guess. As you might imagine, dating and entertainment apps dominate. Pandora leads, followed by messaging app LINE, dating app Zoosk, Apple’s Pages, streaming service Spotify, dating app Badoo, Skype, MLB.com At Bat, dating app Grindr, and LINE PLAY.
Interestingly enough, App Annie says that Pandora’s top ranking was driven by U.S. users, who contributed essentially all of its revenue. Furthermore, Skype was the only app to appear on both the most-downloaded and most-profitable lists. At $9.99, Apple’s Pages is the only app on the list to generate all of its revenue from paid downloads. All of the other apps work on a freemium model. Pages became free for all new iOS devices in October 2013, but its historical revenue won it its place on App Annie’s list.
Perez notes that many of the top apps by downloads and by revenue are also the top apps by monthly active usage — except when it comes to China. In China, where users prefer local apps, none of the 19 apps in App Annie’s download and revenue rankings are in the top 50 by monthly active users.
When it comes to the most-downloaded iOS games, Candy Crush, unsurprisingly, claims the top spot, followed by popular household names Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds. Perez notes that seven out of the top 10 games are based on the swipe mechanism, nine out of 10 are casual games, and all 10 are more than two years old. Clash of Clans and Candy Crush are the only two to appear on the most-downloaded and top revenue lists, where Clash of Clans comes in first and Candy Crush ranks at second.
While huge companies like Google and Facebook dominate when it comes to the most-downloaded apps for iOs, Sarah E. Needlman reports for The Wall Street Journal that a handful of surprisingly small companies are behind some of the most popular games for the iPhone. While a few video game heavyweights like Electronic Arts landed a place on the list, Candy Crush from King Digital is number one in downloads and number two in revenue generated. Supercell’s Clash of Clans appears on each list, as do the Finnish company’s Hay Day and Boom Beach. A common trait of games on both lists are that they’re free to download and play.
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